Look their alignment is off and they’re not connected to their breath at all..

It’s too much about the postures, not enough philosophy

I’m not for that hippie chanting stuff at all..

That type of yoga isn’t really yoga, our one is.

Common complaints spoken by the best of us in the world of yoga..

The whole world is plagued with judgement of the ‘other’, disregarding any form of practice, thought and speech that differs from their own. We define ourselves by what we do, rather than who we are.  

Religion is the most notable culprit of this, different religions disagree with each other and different sects of the SAME religion disagree with each other, to the point of massacre. It seems that even though religions are after the same thing, peace and love, it matters that the person down the road is going about it differently. 

Now yoga, the connection to breath, body and mind, is also being judged as the ‘the right way and the wrong way’, as if we’ve been given the right to decide what’s necessary for each person.

Individual yogis are defining themselves by their practice and judging others for not doing the same. 

For me, yoga should not be defined in the same way religious extremists have decided to define their religion, an ‘it’s our way or the highway’ mentality.

Rather, yoga can be ANYTHING which connects you to your breath, body and mind in a way which works for YOU at your point in your life.

Jump around and do handstands and call it yoga

Sit and meditate and call it yoga

Swim a marathon and call it yoga

Lie on the grass and look at the sky and call it yoga

Over time your yoga may change, and that’s great!

You may look back in disgust at the old type of yoga you did, but realise that it was the best type of yoga for you at the time..

The word yoga is just a word after all, in the modern era it should represent something which encompasses everything human beings have not managed to do so far.

Get a long and agree that we’re all unique, and that’s beautiful

If it gets to the point that some people are so concerned that the word yoga has been ‘highjacked’ and misused, then let’s just call it something else. A word which symbolises

‘Do what makes you feel good, question your own life, do not judge others for their decisions and don’t physically harm anyone’

Obviously the definition needs work, but you get the point.

If you see someone doing a type of yoga you deem ‘damaging to their bodies’, I get that it’s only natural to want to come and tell them, with all of the love in the world, that what they’re doing may be hurting them.

Is this the right thing to do? Sometimes maybe (particularly if you’re a teacher with lots of experience)

However, depending on where they are in their lives, two people may relate to the exact same yoga posture in different ways. An internal dialogue which goes something like this:

Person 1: “Ow this posture is hurting my knee, I’m not doing this yoga anymore/changing the way I do this posture”

Person 2: “Ow this posture is hurting my knee, I’m finally making progress and getting good at yoga!”

We all know these two people

We must trust that if someone is doing something we see as ‘damaging’, they will also come to this conclusion one day. However, they’ll need to go through the process themselves to figure it out.

Or maybe they have nothing to figure out, and you always think your way of doing anything is the best way. In that case, work on your arrogance!

Perhaps they’ll do this yoga for the rest of their lives, perhaps they’ll stop and do a different type of yoga or perhaps they’ll stop all practices labelled as yoga. They may, after 5 years of practice, sustain an injury, change their friends, and learn that all they’ve ever done is rush. So they slow down and do a different type of yoga.

What truly matters is that they’ve decided to start asking the important questions about themselves by getting to a mat.

So drop your yoga identity, because no matter how long it takes, and what type of yoga you do, let’s trust that we’ll all get to the same place of love in a world free from judgement

You define the practice don’t let it define you

Written by: Jonty Hikmet

Photo by: Alessandro Sigismondi 

The photo features our Mayura Black Surf Shorts, perfect for any type of yoga particularly dynamic and hot forms. Ideally suited for a practice in and out of the water as well!